Lately, I've been feeling...a bit, ah hem, *older*. Granted, my birthday was recently, but like I said, I'm in my 30's, and that's YOUNG! I mean, it really is. I'm not delusional. Or defensive.
But I'm definitely noticing some changes...
Exhibit A: My skin, for one thing. I notice it the most in my hands. The skin is thinner. It doesn't help that it's winter and everyone's skin gets drier in the winter, but my hands look older, definitely. I've been applying more lotion, which I really hate, because to apply lotion I have to take off my wedding rings, and I never take my wedding rings off. I'm too paranoid about losing them. But lotion + rings = gross, greasy mess, so I have to take them off.
(Side note: remember that episode of Friends when Ross was trying to impress that girl and he wore leather pants? I promise, this is relevant, stay with me. He goes into the bathroom because he's so nervous that he's sweating and the pants are chafing him. Well, the pants are so tight he can't get them back up. So, he calls Joey, who advises that he use lotion on his legs to try and get them back up. Well, as you can imagine, he uses the lotion, but this does nothing to aid his re-panting efforts. Then, Joey tells him to try baby powder to soak up some of the lotion. One of my favorite lines on that show, ever: "Joey, the lotion and powder have now combined together to make a PASTE!" Ah, good times.)
Ok, anyway. My skin. I've been noticing this for awhile, but I've been exercising a Herculean effort to ignore it. I apply a moisturizer in the morning under the light makeup that I wear, and call that my anti-aging routine. But after this most recent birthday (closer to 40 than I like to dwell on) I thought that *maybe* I should break down and buy a night cream. I hated to do that, because that just smacked of giving in to me, but I told myself that the next time I had to go to the drug store, I'd do it.
That day arrived earlier this week. I needed what we'll delicately call a feminine care product, and so off to the drug store I trotted. I was at work, and there is a CVS on campus. I hated venturing into the aisle with the Oil of Olay, but what can a girl do? Luckily, this being a college campus, there was no one in that aisle but me. I chose one, grabbed the other thing that I needed, and quickly headed to the checkout line. And do you know what I did?
I hid the night cream. Maxi pads were out there for the world to see, but the night cream? I just couldn't handle it. The kid texting behind me just didn't need to see that.
I used it last night, and I have to grudgingly admit that I liked it. It smelled good. And it's probably all in my head, but my skin felt smoother and looked younger. Moving on.
Exhibit B: My hair. Oh, this one hurts. Quite literally.
Ok, so I just had a baby within the past year. And all of you ladies that have had babies know what I'm about to say, right? Not to scare anybody who hasn't yet delivered a baby, but, well. Your hair falls out.
Not *totally* out or anything. But what happens is that while you're pregnant, your new cocktail of hormones holds on to normal hair shed that would ordinarily occur. I looked like Evangeline Lilly's Pantene commercial right before I delivered Anne. Big old belly, and from what other people felt free to tell me, with a fuller face, but my hair looked great.
*After* you deliver, and your hormone levels drop like a stone, that hair that was held over instead of shedding will begin to shed. And it's a 9 month accumulation, so it comes out in such quantities that it does appear that you may go bald.
For me, it was much, much worse this time than after I delivered Henry. The bathroom trash can would be absolutely FULL of hair because I'd run my fingers through it so that it wouldn't fall out all over the place. It was quite horrifying, actually.
But eventually, it stops, and your normal rate of shed comes back. So what does this have to do with aging, Tiffany? I'm getting there. I'm really tired, cut me some slack. Because of the pregnancy thing, I now have new hair growth in the worst spot possible, which is right in the front of my hairline, near my part. I'm constantly smoothing it over so that it doesn't stick up until it gets longer. Attractive.
So, this morning, I was having what we will breezily call a bad hair day. I had a bad night with Anne (more on that in a minute) and I was exhausted this morning. I didn't get out of bed until ten til 7, and thus had to rush around to get ready. The result? I pulled my hair back into a fetching and smooth ponytail, parting my hair carefully so as not to disturb the shorter strands.
That sounds all chic and everything, but when I got to work, I stopped off in the ladies room on my way down to a 9 am meeting. What did I see as I blearily washed my hands?
Gray hairs. MANY GRAY HAIRS.
Now, I've seen a gray hair before. For a couple of years, actually. But it's just been a single hair, up near my part. That I can live with. Thus, I let him live. I do get my hair colored every 3 months or so, so no big deal. I mean, my hair is BROWN, so there's not much one can do with a color, but a sheen of mahogany every 12 weeks is a real picker upper. And plus it took care of that single gray hair. I'd usually see him again in the month leading up to my next appointment, but I didn't mind that.
But this morning, my friends, I saw that gray hair plus at *least* a half dozen of his closest friends. Now *that*, I can't live with.
I guess it was because of the pulled back ponytail, but there they were, front and center, and *very* noticeable. For a moment, I panicked. I looked at the time. 8:59. Hence, I acted all rationally and immediately isolated the gray hairs, trapped them, and attempted to pull them right out of my scalp.
Five minutes later, I arrived at my meeting, late and with a headache. And still a few gray hairs that were able to escape my extermination efforts.
I'm very, *very* unhappy about this. I'm willing to accept a lot of things about aging in a graceful manner, but gray hair is not one of those things. My next appointment isn't until St. Patrick's day and I feel quite panicky about this. You'd better believe that my next appointment will be scheduled less than 12 weeks away.
Exhibit C: My memory. Ugh. This one *really* makes me feel like I'm going to start calling the college students here "sonny" any minute now. My memory has really taken a hit. My short term memory isn't anywhere near as good as it once was, that goes without saying. What did we have for dinner 3 nights ago? Right. No idea.
Even more insidious is that so often now, something very, very obvious will be on the tip of my tongue, and I simply can't think of the word. What's that thing, you know? You put bread in it, it goes in, it gets darker? Um, um...A TOASTER! Yes, that's it. A toaster. It's not AT ALL strange that I couldn't think of that word.
And so, as if all of this wasn't bad enough, last night my old self was on the couch with Anne at 3 am, who was refusing to sleep. Hence, we went downstairs so that at least I can watch Frasier while I hold her and try to soothe her to sleep. So, we're lying on the sofa, and I'm subjected to the short nighttime infomercials that now invade our lives.
Misery-Inducing Infomercial Contender #1:
"Are you tired of not getting a good nights sleep?"
"Can you hardly keep your eyes open at meetings because you're so tired and you're not getting proper rest?"
"Then you need (insert name of some allegedly perfect mattress)!"
Great. Just what I need to see when I'm on my ancient sofa with my infant daughter elbowing me in the chest, and my head is propped up at an unnatural angle to facilitate *her* comfort. People sleeping. Some special foam base contouring to their very bodies. There are practically angel wings wrapped around them. I would go outside and sleep on a pile of rocks so long as nobody was crying and pulling at my breasts.
And THEN. OH baby, and then. As if to pour salt *right* into my granny wound, what do I hear next?
Misery-Inducing Infomercial Contender #2:
"Are you over 40?"
Well no, not yet. But I will be in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for reminding me.
"Do you have unwanted fat around your middle?"
No, so at least that's one happy thing I can cling to.
"WELL, once you turn 40, your changing metabolism will cause this stubborn belly fat to accumulate underneath your muscles. Even diet and exercise will not work to melt it away!"
"You need...LIPOZINE! This simple capsule will melt away that belly fat that even diet and exercise cannot touch!"
Oh fabulous. So not only do I have thinning skin, freakish gray hair, and memory loss, and am racking up a stiff neck sleeping on my sofa, but I'm doomed to be struck down with stubborn belly fat in a few short years?
Is this the beginning of a mid-life crisis? Well no, because I'M NOT AT MID-LIFE!!
And anybody who insinuates otherwise is going to get a crocheted granny square afghan for their next birthday gift, all in 70's oranges and browns. THEN, who's going to feel old, hum?!